MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's economic agenda will uplift the poor in terms of more job opportunities and increased funding for farmers, one of his economic managers said Thursday.
Duterte and his Cabinet this week agreed on 28 priority measures, 14 of which were certified as urgent, including a comprehensive tax reform plan to help fund a P8-trillion infrastructure program.
The government's plan to build new roads, railways and airports will spike demand for construction workers, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.
"The creation of jobs will directly impact the poor especially the blue collar workers," he told ANC's Headstart.
The lifting of rice import restrictions in favor of tariffs will boost revenue and "go into increasing farm productivity," Pernia said.
Pernia said he hoped lawmakers would pass a tax reform bill that is close to the proposal of the Department of Finance. The government version of the bill is seeking higher taxes on fuel and a P10 per liter excise tax on sugar-sweetened drinks to offset a reduction in personal income tax rates.
Another priority measure aims to "rightsize" the bureaucracy and make it "trim, slim and mean," Pernia said.
"There will be opportunities for early retirement," he said.